Scandals sink Dominican Republic deputies even deeper
Santo Domingo.- Chamber of Deputies president Abel Martinez on Tuesday justified their use of the slush fund widely known as the “barrilito” (little barrel) citing charity for their constituents, on the same day another scandal uncovered by outlet diariolibre.com, over irregular purchases to even phantom companies.
Diariolibre.com reports that several of the companies from which the lower Chamber bought gifts for Mother’s Day are registered as food and beverage suppliers, despite that the lawmakers handed out only appliances and furnishings.
But for Martinez, his and his colleague’s charity falls short.
“I wish we could help more, the mayors of towns are elected with fewer votes and yet they give out more than we do.”
Among the companies figure some that share one address and even others without any domicile, but registered on the official website as government suppliers: www.comprasdominicanas.gov.do.
It’s widely suspected that the lawmakers strike deals with those companies, or quickly incorporate others, just to supply the items required.
Among the companies with contracts cited by diariolibre.com figure Empresas Integradas (RD$9.2 million) and Importadora Barbera (RD$15.3 million), and which according to its registry on the official website, are both located on Avenida España. No.117, Villa Duarte, one in suite 201-J and the other in 201.
“At the place, as we could see during a visit noon yesterday, there’s a shop in the building’s first floor, and aside from the dust, there were just small quantities of empty bags and boxes."
When asked what its name and its business were, the company’s office staff said they knew nothing and that the owner had just left.
But the locals however say the store is in the business of rice and other foods, allegedly packaged and distributed by the Presidency’s Social Plan.
The report also lists the companies Falena (Inverlena), SRL, on San Martín Av. #302; Piñeyro y Lara Comercial and Multiservicios Hermes, on Andrés Julio Aybar No.25, Piantini.